Sunday, September 24, 2023

UNIJOS commences indefinite sit-at-home over October half-salary, accuses Ngige

The ASUU chairman added that students will “wait indefinitely, pending the payment of lecturers withheld salaries.”

• November 5, 2022
University of Jos gate (Credit: Premium Times)
University of Jos gate (Credit: Premium Times)

The University of Jos Chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU-UNIJOS) has resolved to stay away from work indefinitely until their outstanding salaries are paid.

This comes as the federal government paid public university lecturers half salaries for October.

ASUU-UNIJOS chairman, Lazarus Maigoro, on Friday, said the decision was taken after a meeting with members of the institution in which they all agreed to stay at home until “withheld salaries are paid.”

The union claimed that federal government agreed to pay 50 per cent of the eight-month allowance owed to its members but instead 17 days salary was paid in October to its members.

Mr Maigoro alledged that the minister of labour, Chris Ngige, wrote a letter to the accountant general of the federation, Okolieaboh Sylva, to pay ASUU members half salaries in October. 

“One of the issues agreed at the meeting was that 50% of the backlog of eight months arrears of our withheld salaries will be paid to our members immediately but as at the time of writing this press release, only 17 days prorated October salary was paid to our members by the office of the Accountant General of the Federation.

“We are also aware that the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, wrote a memo to the Accountant General asking him to pay our members only from the day we suspended the strike. By this singular act, the Minister of Labour and Employment has casualised the work of the University Lecturers unfortunately,” Mr Maigoro said. 

The chairman of ASUU-UNIJOS said the members of the union are back to the campus but unfortunately they could not commence lectures due to the salaries constraints on its members. 

He added that students will “wait indefinitely, pending the payment of lecturers withheld salaries.”

Mr Maigoro emphasised that “For the avoidance of doubt, our members are back to work, willing and ready to work but are unable to work. Based on the revised academic calendar for the 2020/2021 session approved by the senate of the University, lectures should have started already but the challenge of lack of payment of salaries has constrained our members from going to the classroom to teach.

“What this implies is that the students who have resumed already will have to wait indefinitely while we wait for our withheld salaries to be paid to us.”

ASUU suspended its strike on October 14, following a ruling by the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal and an agreement brokered by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.

Meanwhile, ASUU chairman at the University of Lagos, Dele Ashiru, on Thursday, decried the payment of half salaries by the Buhari regime.

Mr Ashiru said it is “insensitive and disheartening” for a supposedly democratic government to deny lecturers their October salaries. 

“It is to say the least insensitive and disheartening that a supposedly democratic government can be so vicious, reckless and inhuman in dealing with the best brains in our society,” Mr Ashiru said. 

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